Posted on October 2nd, 2018
HYT’s 2017 Ashden Award brought the charity’s work to an international audience. Committed to spreading sustainable Interlocking Stabilised Soil Block technology far and wide, the Trust will now use the £10,000 award to fund a showcase project.
Uganda’s young and growing population demands a huge number of schools, many of which struggle with funding and overcapacity. Using environmentally friendly technology, HYT aims to fill gaps in funding, manpower and expertise to address the issues faced by schools throughout Uganda.
The Interlocking Stabilised Soil Block (ISSB) is the technology at the core of HYT’s work. It’s a robust, attractive and affordable building material which avoids the deforestation and high carbon emissions of the conventional burnt brick.
How does HYT choose a school to partner with?
There are a number of factors considered when isolating one school out of many hundreds. The process starts with data collection, HYT casts a wide net by surveying many schools.
The surveys provide a wealth of data and allow our team to recognise schools with a particular demand for new facilities. Key considerations are:
- The numbers of children per classroom
- The ratio of pupils to toilets
- The distance to a water source
- The time pupils spend collecting water
- The monthly water bill (if any)
- The number of boarders and staff accommodated on site
- Kitchen facilities
- Water, sanitation and hygiene
Feedback from this initial phase narrows the search. Kawolo Primary School stood out as their 220 pupils are crammed into shared classrooms, the monthly water bill is exceptionally high and teachers have been displaced from their housing to accommodate male boarders.
The next stage is the visit: meeting the school administration and testing the soil to ensure it is suitable for ISSB, luckily Kawolo’s soil was perfect!
One village projects are a partnership between the school, the local community and HYT. The school and community provide secure accommodation for HYT masons, ensure construction equipment is stored safely and provides three meals a day. The partnership gives ownership over the project to each stakeholder group and encourages maintenance of structures long into the future.
The Kawolo school administration, led by Headmistress Florence Wauyaua Luziuda, have been incredibly receptive during the initial phases of the project. The school is beautifully kept, and it has been a delight to meet both staff and pupils.
The Richard Feilden Foundation
This project is blessed with an added partner: The Richard Feilden Foundation, a charitable arm of the international award-winning architects FCB studios. They contribute expertise, creativity and a fierce pursuit of innovative design. Last week John Cleverly, a representative from the foundation, led a stakeholder participation exercise designed to spark the creativity of staff and pupils to enhance the school’s learning environment.
All parties are extremely excited for the project to progress. As a showcase project, HYT is determined to deliver exceptional structures which meet the school’s needs and act as advocates for ISSB technology.
HYT would like to invite interested parties to learn more about our work in sustainable construction. To arrange a visit to an active construction site, located halfway between Kampala and Jinja, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on September 20th, 2018
In the last few months, a team of HYT 1 village graduates have been travelling from school to school in Kamuli and Jinja districts installing rainwater harvesting systems, jointly funded by Lunch 4 Learning and the Rotary Clubs of Haddenham and Thame, and the Source of the Nile. This project will see 15 systems transforming over 5000 children’s learning experience.
During the 15-tank project the team have honed their skills, becoming incredibly efficient. Arriving on site equipped with an ISSB press and their tools, they turn a pile of soil and some cement into a fully functional water tank in just two and a half weeks. The tanks themselves are incredibly durable and outcompete their plastic competitors on longevity and price.
The majority of these schools send pupils to a local borehole. This involves time intensive journeys often over a kilometre, laden with jerry cans. Time spent collecting water detracts from time in lessons, disrupting consistent, continuous learning.
The sad truth is that time spent away from lessons is a less serious symptom of poor water infrastructure. Children are at risk of kidnapping and attack on route to water sources.
“The road to the local borehole is dangerous and the kidnapping risk is high. A safe source of water on site will allow children to spend more time learning, less time fetching water and reduce kidnapping.” Headmaster, Kakuba Primary School.
Uganda enjoys two rainy seasons with an annual rainfall of between 900 – 1500mm (35 – 60 inches). Rainwater harvesting allows communities to harness this natural resource providing 7 months of safe, reliable drinking water.
Rotary Club Visit
On the 27th of August members of the Rotary Club travelled to 3 of the 15 schools to inspect the tanks and learn about the technology behind them.
HYT Country Manager Mauricia and Operations Manager Phillip were in their element articulately explaining the environmental, cost and functional benefits of the humble ISSB water tank.
The audience of Rotary members were impressed with the tanks and bricks alike. One member even requested a brick to be delivered to his office, no doubt he was in the market for a giant sustainable paperweight.
ISSB tanks have a lifespan of over ten years, overtime they will service 10’s of thousands of students in the region.
We are hugely grateful to Lunch for Learning and the Rotary Club for funding this great venture and look forward to working with them for years to come.